Report: Kentucky Third In Prescription Drug Overdose Deaths

Oct 7, 2013

A report released Monday places the Commonwealth third in the nation in prescription drug overdose deaths, just below New Mexico and West Virginia.

While a recent Kentucky Incentives for Prevention Survey showed declines in the number of teens abusing prescription drugs in the state, this latest survey is a reminder of how far  the state still has to go.

Jeff Levi is with Trust for America’s Health, the group that conducted the report.

"We looked at the growth of prescription drug abuse by state across the country. Drug overdose deaths have doubled in 29 states in the past decade, with rates quadrupling in four of those states and tripling in ten more," he says.

The Prescription Drug Abuse report also graded state’s efforts to combat the epidemic through prescription drug monitoring programs, medical provider education, and support for substance abuse treatment.

On that score, Kentucky’s Operation UNITE was spotlighted as a model for how communities can take a comprehensive approach to the problem.

The full report can be found here.